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Do You Listen to Podcasts?

Podcasts have been around for a number of years now, but there are still quite a few regular internet users who have never listened to one. For the uninitiated, podcasts are essentially the internet’s answer to radio (though there are also video podcasts).

Unlike radio, however, you are not restricted to a station’s schedule. You can either stream or download a podcast and listen to it whenever you like. That freedom means you can easily keep up with several podcasts because you can listen to them in the car, at the gym, on a hike, or whenever you have some spare time.

Podcasts can be anything their creators want them to be. There are official podcasts put out by groups and organizations, and there are podcasts put out by teenagers from their bedroom. Some are very slick and professional, while others are endearingly amateurish. If there is a subject, you can do a podcast about it, and there is a good chance you will find one that conforms to your interests.

Podcasts can be highly factual and informative, or they can be irreverent and just a piece of disposable entertainment; both of these approaches have their merits and many people listen to a combination of podcast styles.

Most podcasts are free, though some creators charge subscription fees in order to help recover their costs or as simply a way to make some extra money. Some offer two versions of the same podcast: a short one that is free or a longer version that must be purchased (either individually or part of a subscription, the latter usually being cheaper).

You can download podcasts directly from the creator’s website or through a service like iTunes. Going the latter route is especially helpful because you can adjust your settings so that each podcast downloads automatically, saving you the time and effort.

The Internet’s Negative Effects on Education

 

The internet has changed the world in many ways. To site just one example, information has never been easier to access. However, this also means that it is now simpler than before to spread misinformation, which can have terrible results (e.g. fake news and Donald Trump’s election victory).

The accessibility of facts can certainly making learning easier and more efficiently delivered, but the internet has also had some very negative effects on education:

Corner Cutting

One of the main ways that essays and reports benefit students is that they help to stimulate creativity. You have to spend time and problem solve to come up with a topic or information that will allow you to fulfill the parameters of the assignment. With the internet, a pupil can just go online and instantly find examples to emulate. This hinders the development of the skills that they will need both in school and on the job.

Cheating

Another aspect of corner cutting is cheating. Previously a student would have to look for something or hire someone to write a paper for them. Now they can go online and cut and paste things in seconds. Not only does this hurt them, it is easily discerned as teachers can use the internet to check on sections of papers (or entire papers) that do not seem to be that student’s work.

There are also sites where students can buy pre-written essays or commission ones related to that particular assignment.

Time Wasting

There are so many ways to waste time on the internet that you could literally spend entire days doing just that. Students already find some classes difficult to care about; with their laptops and smartphones, they can instantly zone out. This can also tempt them to do the same even during subjects that would regularly engage them.